#PeopleofWilmDE: Cora Reed

Cora Reed is the owner of multiple businesses such as: Reed’s Refuge, Read To Learn Academy Inc, Ribbons And Bows Daycare Inc, F&C Empire LLC, Studio 505, as well as this week’s #PeopleofWilmDE! Read her story below:  

Cora and husband Fred Reed

“I was born and raised in the city of Wilmington. I grew up on the West Side in low-income housing and also on welfare. I went to Christiana High School. My first job was at the age of 13, working for WICC Pack cleaning the streets of Wilmington. I currently work in the North East side of Wilmington. I have worked in the City practically all my life. 

I continue to work in Wilmington because I’m from Wilmington and I understand the struggles and also understand what it’s like living in survival mode. Being born into this world and your parents are already relying on the government system, it becomes a generational curse which is passed down to your children. My goal is to help free the minds of the people by creating places such as Reed’s Refuge Center and being a living example as well as a role model. If I can come from the streets with the same background and some of the same problems and refuse to be a product of my environment, I can show people they don’t have to be either.

By being from Wilmington, it gives me an advantage because people are familiar with me and entrust me with their children. I’m very active in the community. I’m involved with Reed’s Refuge Center, providing a safe haven for children also providing employment opportunities as well as community service. I have partnered with other organizations hosting events in our community.

My concern is our children and how we are losing them to senseless acts of violence every day. I’m hoping that we can expand Reed’s Refuge Center in order to service more families in our community and bring about a positive change.

One of the stories that I would like to share is my husband having five dump trucks dump tons of sand in front of Reed’s Refuge on Jessup Street. My husband was trying to keep it a secret from me and he created a beach environment since we couldn’t take our students to the beach. It was an awesome event and the children really enjoyed it. The second night, we realized that it became a giant litter box for the cats in the neighborhood! Meow!

I have several proud moments in the city! My proudest moments are as follows: being the youngest black women to open a home daycare at the age of 18 in my mother’s home on the West Side of WIlmington, marrying my best friend in 1998 in Wilmington, having my first child in 1994, opening my first daycare center in 2005, opening a second location in 2009, opening Reed’s Refuge Center in 2012, and purchasing our 39,000 sq. ft. building in 2020 with the goal of expansion.

Some advice I’d like to give our community is to stay POSITIVE and DON’T FEAR! CHANGE IS COMING! Please don’t be discouraged!” 

Check out Cora on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin

Read more #PeopleOfWilmDE posts here. To nominate next week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE, email us at info@wilmtoday.com . Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.

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